1st Supervisor: Dr Martha Prevezer
2nd Supervisor: Dr Liam Campling
A Study of Institutional Change within the Romanian National Political Economy with a Focus on Elites, International Forces and Labour.
This study seeks to provide an explanation for institutional change in Romania, by challenging and stepping away from the traditional elements of change of the comparative political economy literature. I revisit the question of the institutional transformation of a post-Socialist Central Eastern European (CEE) state, making the case for a more dynamic, relational, historically-based, context-specific and agent-driven analysis of institutional change.
Drawing on five overarching literatures – varieties of capitalism, Polanyian varieties, economic geography, historical institutionalism and class analysis of elites – my thesis hypothesises the existence of elites, international forces and labour as the principal drivers of institutional change in Romania. In order to examine the unfolding of my approach to the study of institutional change, I designed a longitudinal case study based on the examination of three Romanian sectors with distinct configurations in terms of their historical legacies, spatial and temporal vectors, and structure and composition.
The three sectoral economies analysed in my thesis are 1) coal mining – an inward-oriented industrial branch representative of the Socialist regime, 2) auto – an industrial branch established in the Socialist regime with continuity in the newly-established capitalist variety through foreign direct investment, and 3) business services – an industrial branch created in the early 2000s through the inflow of foreign direct investment.